MOVarazzi

Sunday, January 20, 2013

892. Inner Feng Shui Ninja

You wake up one morning and tell yourself that today is the day you will get rid of everything you don’t need.  That broken lamp in the basement?  Why are you keeping it?  It is not going to magically repair itself.  The toddler toys in the garage?  Please.  Your kids are now six and nine.  The books you read once and promised yourself you would go back and read again “when you had time.”  Guess what?  You will never have that kind of time, and if you do, you will want to go to the bookstore or the library and get a new book you have never read. 

Yes, Inner Feng Shui Ninja has arrived. 
Ninja shows no mercy, takes no prisoners, shoots from the hip, calls a spade a spade, and takes the tiger by the tail.  When you hold up the half of a royal blue sweater that you started knitting in college, she laughs so hard she snorts.  Uh, no.  It’s gotta go. 

Ninja goes room by room, methodically assessing the use of each and every item.  The espresso machine that you use every day?  It stays.  The 12-year-old juicer that broke but you seem to think it might still be under warranty?  Buh-bye.  Your younger son’s school “art project” that he did last week?  Ninja has her hand on it, but you opt for the temporary purgatory of the front of the refrigerator instead.  Ninja is not happy, but she knows how sentimental you can be about “art.” 
“I might frame it,” you justify yourself to Ninja while trying not to sound like you are begging.  Ninja points out that you have five large boxes full of “art” you “might frame.”  You would need to buy a much bigger house to display it all.  Ninja advises you to go through it, piece by piece.  At first it’s hard, but after a short break for chocolate chip cookies and a double espresso, it somehow gets easier.  You get it down to two boxes (one for each child) and Ninja smiles. 

Ninja likes clean, she likes uncluttered, she is allergic to piles.  She wants the excess gone, and she wants it gone yesterday. 
She has heard all the excuses:  It’s valuable, Aunt Sally gave it to me, I might use it.  Ninja shakes her no-nonsense head.  The only thing that matters to her is the final goal:  a livable house. 

“You can breathe better when you have open space,” she explains slowly and loudly, like she is talking to a deaf dog.  “Trust me on this, MOV.” 
Frankly, you don’t trust her.  The last time she showed up (three years ago), she made you get rid of some quirky 1950s costume jewelry that you had originally bought from a garage sale and that you later saw on eBay for $600.  You can’t afford those kinds of mistakes. 

Ninja nods.  “I know, I know,” she says apologetically, “It won’t happen again.  Now, help me get your husband’s dusty stacks of baseball cards into the trash, right next to those old coins.  They’re out of circulation anyway.”
MOV
P.S. And thank you to Shell Flower for the idea for this post (from her comment on my Martha Stewart post)! 

36 comments:

  1. My inner ninja is constantly thwarted by my husband's inner packrat. It's an epic battle that can never be won.

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    1. Ack! You live with the Inner Packrat! That is a tough one.

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  2. Please please send the ninja to my house. We've missed her! As for the art, take pictures of it all & make a picture book. It makes me feel so much better to be able to "keep" the art, but not have the clutter.

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    1. I am going to take your advice on the art picture book. Great solution!! thanks-

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  3. I love what Stephanie said in her comment; the same applies here in our household. I need to get the inner ninja to be an outer ninja here. Good luck in keeping your inner ninja focused!

    (finished the book; will be reviewing it on my blog in the next day or so; loved it :)

    betty

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    1. Betty, looking forward to your review! thanks-

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  4. I agree with Stephanie too. My ninja is activated by the holidays.. and I keep reigning her in (for the sake of the kids!) only to be back at it again every other week. I love artkive for storing pictures of the art and sharing it with family members who politely nod and agree that's amazing 'art'.

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    1. The holidays produce a lot of "stuff", don't they?

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  5. We have a wonderful organization that comes to our house EVERY MONTH to take away gently used clothes, toys & appliances. (Texas Paralyzed Veterans - holla!).

    Every month I have bags & boxes to give them.

    Yet the level of crap in my house never subsides.

    Apparently my house is a freak of physics.

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    1. Your house is a freak of physics! In my house, I think that little elves sneak in junk while I am sleeping. Useless junk, like jeans a size too small for me, and pretty shoes that hurt my feet. Damn elves.

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  6. That Ninja of yours is costing you some serious cash. The first thing to toss out of the house is NINJA...then the broken lamp. If you really feel the need to get rid of the coins and baseball cards, I'll take them off your hands,...although that would be at considerable sacrifice to my whole organizational plan... because I am a giver that way.

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    1. The coins and baseball cards are on their way! :)

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  7. Being an organization ninja is my dream job! I am just moonlighting with this cleaning lady thing. The eBay pile is growing here and I have made five trips to the rescue mission this month. I just need to figure out what room to unleash myself in next! Oh, by the way, you would never know how much stuff has left the building by looking around!

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    1. I guess I need to break it down room by room so it will be more manageable.........

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  8. I wish my inner feng shui ninja would visit. I think she was crushed under some boxes in the basement. I'm putting this on Facebook to see if I can inspire anyone to come organize my house.

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    1. what is Facebook? does Ninja know about this?

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  9. NINJA is my middle name. If the economy were decent and I didn't have a broken back, I would go into business organizing people's houses.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Actually, Janie, I think I would love that business and be really good at it (but then it would be weird to run into my former clients at the grocery store and say, "Is your desk still as neat as I made it?"

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  10. I am so glad I don't have a Ninja of my own...And my husband might have one but he's scared of me :)

    I'm actually not anti-organization, I like my clutter organized!

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    1. ha! Organized clutter-- love it!

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  11. I ninja away the junk, or at least throw it all in one spot out of view. Out of sight, out of mind, right? haha

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    1. Is your secret hiding spot under the bed? or maybe all over the dining room table........

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  12. My rule, which I follow most of the time, is that if I bring something in, then something has to go out. Sometimes I take it to the thrift store, give it away, or just put it in the dumpster. This helps a little with the clutter. But mostly my conscience. The best thing I ever did to cut down on my own level of stuff was to help a friend move. Their level of stuff was incredible. I vowed not to cut back on my own level. Keep only the stuff I use and actually love. I mean really love.

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    1. That is a very good rule. I need to be more like you.

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  13. My ninja holds things for 5 minutes, goes down memory lane, takes a photo of the "treasure" and then lets it go. :)

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    1. Trouble is, Memory Lane is a loooooooooooong drive. Can take hours!!!

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  14. Oops meant to say I vowed to cut back on my level of stuff. Maybe a Freudian slip?

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  15. The Big Tuna still accuses me of throwing out the McDonald's Monopoly Park Place piece and causing him to lose a million dollars. I would have just spent the money on myself anyway.

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    1. I have your McDonald's Monopoly Park Place piece. Can we split the earnings? (I still have to pay Ninja)

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    1. Gosh, not sure what it is, but you're like the 250th person to say that............

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  17. Oh Ninja. I try to be the Ninja but I'm a sentimental schmuck. I can't help it. Some things are easy -- some things are very, very difficult. I'm not a hoarder but I am a historian. I like to tell the story of our lives and sometimes that can get me in trouble. But, I do keep things in archival quality file boxes, notebooks and on shelves.

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    1. Ah, the ol' "Historian" spin on things. I like it!

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  18. People keep trying to 'ninja' me too. I feel like a *hoarder* or something. But we can still walk through the stacks. Really. And I might NEED that butter tub lid someday. I use those all the time actually.

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    1. Heidi, step away from the butter tub lid.........

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When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)